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Maersk Line loses top spot

Swiss MSC has taken over the top spot on the list of the world's largest container carriers from Maersk Line, as the latter makes its niche companies increasingly autonomous.

Photo: Maersk Line

Swiss-based container carrier MSC, which is controlled by the Italian Aponte family, has taken taken over the top spot as the world's largest global container carrier - measured by fleet size as well as number of transported containers - ahead of Maersk Line, which has ranked as number one since the late 1990's - a position that was further cemented following the carrier's acquisitions of Sea-Land and P&O Nedlloyd, according to a new study by SeaIntel Maritime Analysis, which reviews data across Maersk Line and MSC's various niche companies.

According to the analysis, Maersk Line could easily have maintained its number one spot by placing more ships under the Maersk Line brand. Rather,  the decision to surrender the first place signals the carrier's focus on its financial results and bottom line over a prominent ranking, says SeaIntel.

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